First Merchants (FRME) Downgraded by BidaskClub to “Sell”

BidaskClub lowered shares of First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Friday morning.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on FRME. FIG Partners reissued a market-perform rating on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Friday, February 1st. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Merchants from a buy rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $46.00.

Shares of First Merchants stock traded down $1.96 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $35.52. The stock had a trading volume of 187,283 shares, compared to its average volume of 192,321. First Merchants has a 12-month low of $32.49 and a 12-month high of $50.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The stock has a market cap of $1.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 0.98.



First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The bank reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.03. First Merchants had a net margin of 32.85% and a return on equity of 11.74%. The business had revenue of $107.06 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $107.40 million. Equities analysts expect that First Merchants will post 3.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were issued a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.48%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.33%.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of FRME. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,000. Pearl River Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $42,000. Huntington National Bank lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 40.6% in the 4th quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,353 shares of the bank’s stock worth $46,000 after acquiring an additional 391 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $67,000. Finally, CX Institutional acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 4th quarter worth approximately $77,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.38% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Company Profile

First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. It accepts time, savings, and demand deposits; and provides consumer, commercial, agri-business, and real estate mortgage loans, as well as rents safe deposit facilities.

Featured Article: What is a good rate of return for a mutual fund?

Receive News & Ratings for First Merchants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Merchants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.